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Ask Elsie -- October 18, 2018

EDITOR’S NOTEAsk Elsie is a column where Chief Financial Officer Elsie Schiro tackles employee queries, or in areas outside her purview, asks other District leaders to answer them.

Dear Elsie,

When the District calls for a delay in the school start time, due to weather, do the support personnel still need to arrive at regular time? Will that person be docked or have to make up the missed time for that day?


Need to Know

Dear Need to Know,

Thank you for your question. I reached out to Max Ates, senior officer of payroll, benefits and risk management, and he had this response to your question: “Each occurrence of inclement weather during a workday is reviewed as necessary to make an educated decision how to determine how work time will be treated. Every employee who is on a work schedule that does not have an inclement weather day built into the work calendar should report to work as soon as they can do so safely.

DEC(REGULATION) states: Absences during inclement weather will be governed by the following provisions:

a. “Any employee who fails to report on time to his or her assignment when school and other District facilities have been declared open will use a PTO personal day or vacation day for each day absence. The District will adjust the salary of each day of absence by an employee who has no available PTO personal days or vacation days.

b. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Superintendent.”

Thanks again for your question, Need to Know, and thank you Mr. Ates for your response.


Dear Elsie,

I have worked for several school districts that have offered tuition reimbursements for teachers seeking a master’s or EdD/PhD. Tarrant County College recently began this program with the full-time employees as well. Has FWISD considered adopting this program to encourage professional development?

Hardworking Teacher

Dear Hardworking Teacher,

Fort Worth ISD does not offer tuition reimbursement to employees who seek higher education degrees. However, depending upon the employee’s job with the District, the employee may be eligible for a salary increase (e.g. teachers will be placed on a Master Level or Ph.D. level salary schedule, and any professional employee, up to and including directors, with a Ph.D. is eligible for a stipend).

Again, thank you for your question.


Dear Elsie,

Why is it so hard to find itslearning on the District website? I open the page with the apps and itslearning is not there. It seems to me that there are problems with the program on the weekends. Why is that?


Diana Córdova-Wagner, Clifford Davis, Dual Kindergarten

Dear Ms. Córdova-Wagner,

I reached out to Dr. Becky Navarre, assistant superintendent of technology, and she had this response to your question: “itslearning is located in several locations on the District website: the employees page, the student home page, along with additional links on the Employee Link Hub. These links serve as a backup as we encourage students and staff to utilize the app portal. On two separate occurrences, a conflict with the my.fwisd.orguser list caused the itslearning and Eduphoria apps to drop away for certain employees not classified as teachers or students. The error was corrected, but unfortunately, reoccurred the following weekend. The root cause was soon discovered and has yet to reoccur since the vendor corrected the issue. The itslearning app should be visible for all students and staff on the portal.”

Thanks again for your question, Ms. Córdova-Wagner, and thank you Dr. Navarre for your response.


Direct your questions to and put the words "Ask Elsie" in the subject line. Please close your letter with your preferred signature as you wish it to appear in the column. When there are multiple queries on the same subject, we will select the one that is most representative of the subject. We will try to answer as many questions as possible.

Please bear with us as we have a backlog of Ask Elsie questions and are responding to questions as soon as we can.